Ein Wintermärchen

Karl Goldmark

One of Shakespeare’s late romances, its plot is filled with intense psychological drama, but with a happy ending. Goldmark doesn’t fail to highlight both sides of the original play.

The Opera

Opera in three acts
Libretto by
Alfred Maria Willner
after William Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale
Music by
Karl Goldmark

First performance 2 January 1908, Vienna State Opera.

Sung in German with English surtitles

The orchestra will be reduced to accommodate the COVID-19 safety requirements.
arranged by Matthias Bucher (*1988)
published by Cecilia Music Concept, Cologne

Some Shakespeare plays have been set as operas several dozens of times, others hardly at all.
A Winter’s Tale features somewhere in the middle popularity-wise, without having inspired any of the most famous Shakespearean operas – which makes Karl Goldmark’s Ein Wintermärchen all the more intriguing.
Composers came to A Winter’s Tale relatively late, with the first adaptation being that of Carlo Emanuele Barbieri’s Perdita, oder Ein Wintermärchen, premiered in Leipzig in 1865.
Max Bruch’s version (Hermione) followed a few years later.

Premiered at the Vienna State Opera in Vienna in 1908, Ein Wintermärchen would prove to be the last of the six operas composed by Goldmark (1830–1915). Frustratingly for him, his first opera would always remain his most famous: Die Köningen von Saba (The Queen of Sheba) brought huge personal success at its premiere in 1875, and its subject matter gave Goldmark scope to display what was considered to be his greatest strength as a magician of orchestration; contemporaries raved about the ‘burning scarlet gleam’ and ‘sensuous iridescence’ of his music.
The librettist of Ein Wintermärchen was Alfred Maria Willner, one of the most prolific Viennese wordsmiths of the day. It was his first collaboration with Goldmark, on Das Heimchen am Herd, that set Willner on his path to producing over 50 libretti, including several for Lehár.

Born Károly Goldmark, the son of a Jewish cantor, the composer grew up in today’s Austrian region of Burgenland – actually not all that far from Shakespeare’s ‘coast of Bohemia’ – but is still most commonly identified as a Hungarian composer.
He never learned to speak Hungarian and allied himself most closely of all with German culture, but did sometimes incorporate Hungarian themes in his music.
Described by contemporaries as modest and shy, Goldmark did little to promote himself, and his work and his music suffered the twin fates of falling out of fashion soon after his death and then being branded as ‘degenerate’ by the Nazis.
From the 1950s onwards his name was kept alive principally through his Violin Concerto No. 1, recorded by many great names, and his music is now enjoying something of a wider reappraisal.

The Plot

The jealous King Leontes falsely accuses his wife Hermione of infidelity with his best friend, Polixenes, and she is forced to go into exile with her baby daughter but soon dies.
Her daughter, Perdita, is raised by shepherds and sixteen years later falls in love with Polixenes’ son Florizel, but thinking she is just a shepherd’s daughter Polixenes refuses to allow the marriage
He changes his mind when Perdita’s background is revealed; in the castle a statue of Hermione comes to life and everyone is reconciled.

Discover the Repertorie

by Ian Fox

Listen to the introduction

Creative Team

Marcus Bosch


Previous engagements
Schlaues Füchslein, Janacek, Volkstheater Rostock, 2021; 
Ernani, Verdi, Opernfestspiele Heidenheim, 2019;
Pique Dame, Tschaikowski, Opernfestspiele Heidenheim, 2019;
...and a lot of Concerts around the world.

Future engagements
Tannhäuser, Wagner, Opernfestspiele Heidenheim, Moden, Reggio Emilia, 2022;
I due Foscari, Verdi, Opernfestspiele Heidenheim, 2022

Previously at WFO
Unfortunately nothing

The first opera I have ever seen/heard
Die Zauberflöte, Mozart,  Munich State Opera, 38 years ago being 14 y.o.

The first opera I conducted
Le Villi, Puccini, 1995

My favourite opera
Tristan und Isolde

A single statement regarding opera/music
Without excellent music, life is very poor and boring  

Andrea Grant


Lighting Designer
D.M. Wood


Previously at WFO: Lighting Designer (Medea, Margherita, Risurrezione, 2017).

Previous Engagements: Lighting Designer (Susanna, Handel, Royal Opera House; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Britten, Deutsche Oper Berlin; La favorite, Donizetti, Houston Grand Opera).


Burkhard Fritz


Previous engagements
Die Tote Stadt, Paul, Oper Köln, 2021
Götterdämmerung, Siegfried, Edinburgh International Festival, 2019
Les contes d’Hoffmann, Hoffmann, Semperoper Dresden, 2019

Future engagements
Die Vögel, Hoffegut, Oper Köln, 2021
Lied von der Erde, Tenor, Philharmonie Dresden, 2022
Tristan und Isolde, Tristan, Staatstheater Saarbrücken, 2022

Previously at WFO
It's my debut

The first opera I have ever seen/heard?

The first opera I sang in?

My favourite opera? 
Die tote Stadt

A single statement regarding opera/music
For me, music in general is like the energetic breath of mankind.

Sophie Gordeladze

Soprano, Georgia

Previously at WFO:
Matilde (Maria de Rudenz, 2016).

Previous Engagements:
Mathilde (Guillaume Tell, Rossini, Tiroler Festspiele Erl),
Elettra (Idomeneo, Mozart, Teatro Sao Carlos – Lisbon),
Violetta (La traviata, Verdi, Tbilisi State Opera).

Forthcoming Engagements: Alcina (Alcina, Handel, Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern), Soprano (Symphony no 9, Beethoven, Teatro Degollado, Guadalajara, Mexico).

Ava Dodd

Soprano / Ireland

Wexford Factory Artist

Simon Thorpe

Baritone, Australia

Previous Engagements: Holländer (Der fliegende Holländer, Wagner, Longborough Festival Opera), Salerio (The Merchant of Venice, André Tchaikowsky, Welsh National Opera), Scarpia (Tosca, Puccini, Welsh National Opera).

Daniel Szeili


Previous engagements
Carmen, Don Josè, Danish National Opera, 2018
Csardasfürstin, Edwin, Staatsoperette Dresden, 2019
La rondine, Ruggero, Staatstheater Meiningen, 2020

Future engagements
Inkognito Royale (WP), Hotelier, Danish National Opera, 2021
Lied von der Erde, Tenor, Theater Altenburg-Gera, 2021/22
Der Vogelhändler, Adam, Pfalaztheater Kaiserslautern, 2022

Previously at WFO
Cristina, regina di Svezia, Johan M., 2013
La traviata, Alfredo, 2013 (ShortWorks)

The first opera I have ever seen/heard?
La Bohème

The first opera I sang in?
Don Giovanni (Gazzaniga)

My favourite opera? 
Meistersinger von Nürnberg

A single statement regarding opera/music
Opera/Music/Art is for me a bridge to the heart and soul of a human being... to remind us that there is more to this world than meets the eye!

Rory Musgrave

Baritone / Ireland

Jevan McAuley

Baritone / Uk

Niamh O’Sullivan

mezzo / Ireland

Conor Gahan

Treble / Ireland

Adian Morissey

Treble / Ireland

Ben Knight

bass-Baritone / UK

Vladimir Sima

Wexford factory Artist

Sheldon Baxter


Previous engagements:

Cabaret, Oscar, 2020, Semper Zwei
Trouble in Tahiti, Baritone, 2019, Semper Zwei
Werther, Albert, 2019, Lunenberg Academy

Future engagements:  
Three Decembers, Charlie, 2022, Little Opera Company

Previously at WFO:
La Cucina, Zeno, 2019, Main stage
Dinner at Eight, Gustave, 2018, Main stage

The first opera I have ever seen/heard?
by Bizet

The first opera I sang in?
Rusalka by Dvořák

My favourite opera:
Příhody lišky Bystroušky, Janáček

A single statement regarding opera/music:
My life is one big opera; I just haven’t decided if it’s a drama or a comedy!

Peter Lidbetter

Bass / UK

Die Zeit, Mädchen
Fiona Finsbury

Soprano / Uk